April 13, 2011
ATLANTA --- When the Boise State Broncos and the Georgia Bulldogs take their respective fields for their spring football games this Saturday, each squad will be working hard to prepare for their marquee season-opening match-up in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game September 3.
The game will be nationally telecast on ESPN. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. EST.
With both teams projected to enter the game nationally ranked, this will mark the fourth straight year the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game has hosted two teams in the Top 25 to open the season. Over the last three seasons, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game has hosted teams ranked No. 5, No. 7, No. 9, No. 16, No. 18 and No. 24.
"With Boise State coming in as the winningest team in the nation over the last 10 years and Georgia delivering one of the strongest recruiting classes in the country, this really is a compelling match-up," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO.
Each of the first three games was nationally telecast on ABC and each drew an on-location appearance by ESPN's College GameDay show - marking the first time GameDay has started the season three straight years at the same event. The game's projected total team payout of $3.1 million ranks it higher than 18 of last year's bowl games.
If history is any indicator, the winner of this year's Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will have taken the first step in putting together a successful season.
In 2008, No. 24 Alabama's defeat of No. 9 Clemson propelled them 11 spots up the rankings on the way to an eventual No. 1 national ranking and BCS bowl berth. The No. 1 Crimson Tide took advantage of another appearance in the 2009 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game to defeat No. 7 Virginia Tech in a game that started their national championship run and began Mark Ingram's successful Heisman Trophy campaign.
The No. 16 LSU Tigers leveraged a victory over No. 18 North Carolina last year to pave the way for a 10-2 season that ended in a No. 8 final national ranking.
The 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will mark only the second meeting all-time between the Broncos and Bulldogs. Boise State visited Georgia in 2005, with Georgia earning a 48-13 win in Athens.
The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game was created by the Chick-fil-A Bowl in partnership with ESPN, as a BCS-style game to kick off the season matching two elite football programs on the first Saturday of every season.
For more information, visit Chick-fil-AKickoffGame.com.
About the Chick-fil-A Bowl:
The Chick-fil-A Bowl is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and hosts the longest-running rivalry series between the ACC and SEC. Now in its 44th year, the Chick-fil-A Bowl has established itself as one of the nation's elite bowl games with a string of 14 consecutive sellouts and has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the nation. Ten of the last 19 games have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Chick-fil-A Bowl has disbursed more than $103 million in team payouts over its 43-year history and has increased team payout every year since 1996. The Bowl also leads all other bowl games in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $7 million to organizations in need since 2002. Other events under the Chick-fil-A Bowl brand include the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge head coach and celebrity golf event each spring and the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game season-opening game over Labor Day weekend.